How God Provided us a Home
How we came to buy our home when we had nothing, How God planned the way and How God provided for us..
From our story here, we had to come off the property ladder to relocate. We had accepted this and hoped maybe things would change in the future but for now this was our only option. We did not make a huge amount on the sale and the money we did make then had to be re-invested into a new car - as our old one soon bit the dust when we arrived.
Renting meant we could live in a nicer area and bigger property than we could afford to buy. We loved our rental home, it was big, spacious and in a great location to our family. Unfortunately after 5 months we were informed by the lettings agency that the landlord wanted his property back and we were given 2 months notice. This stung - it was not an ideal time to move. We had only just paid out all the agency fees etc and now we needed to pay for professional cleaning and re-pay all the new agency fees at a new property. On top of this there had been a death in the family and Christmas was around the corner. We started to look at other rentals but couldn't find anything similar - we were running out of time and did not want to become homeless.
My husbands parents then suggested they could give us a percentage of his inheritance to buy a house. This was amazing and unexpected news, we knew there was not enough time to buy a house by the time we needed to move out and we had to go into a rental as we were too big to be housed elsewhere. A rental came up around the corner - it was lot smaller than we would have chosen but for 6 months, it was doable. We packed up a lot of our stuff and stored it in our parents garage, as it would not fit in our new rental and we figured we could live without it for 6 months. It had given us a hope, that although this was an extremely stressful time, it would help us buy a new property.
Moving in was not simple, there were issues over whether we could use the garage - the person checking us in, informed us that the landlady was not very good and in the middle of moving day my sister and her husband split up. Once we finally got the keys to the garage, they were mistakenly taken by my dad and we spent ages looking for them!
We started to look at properties for sale. However, the market had really started to take off. Properties were selling quickly and prices were rising. We would have viewings cancelled as the property had been sold. We found a property that could work and we put in an offer - it was accepted. However over the weekend they received a better offer so we were gazumped. We weren't too sad though as the property wasn't really what we wanted - it just met requirements.
We continued the search. This took months, we finally found the one! It was exciting and just on the cusp of what we could afford. We paid out broker and solicitor fees and then the mortgage offer took forever. They had accepted us provisionally so we didn't anticipate a problem. I started planning how I would decorate the new property and we had taken the children to visit it. Then we had the phone call - our mortgage offer was declined unless we could get a bigger deposit. They wanted almost double what we had and there was no way we could get that from mine or his parents. We had to pull out of the sale.
I was so disappointed, I was so sad. What a complete waste of time and money and to top it all off we were in a horrible rental we didn't want to be in! I was so angry. I felt God was playing games with us, giving us hope only to withdraw it in such a cruel way. Why had He put us through so much stress? what was the point of this? I prayed, told Him straight - exactly how I felt. Our close friends prayed alongside us. My mental health declined and I felt so unworthy. I did not regret moving here and accepted the financial price, I couldn't understand why plant a seed He did not intend to honour? During this time, I went on medication and therapy. I learnt who I was in Christ and dispelled so many of the lies I had believed about myself. I received an emotional healing and was able to move forward even though I didn't have all the answers or understanding of why things happened. God healed my from the insecurities that lay deep in my heart.
I looked for answers but all I would hear back is 'love the home your in' I really didn't feel like it but I decided to start slowly by buying a few accessories and tidying up the garden. We started to hang a few pictures, open a few boxes and turn this house back into a home. There had been problems with the house but the landlord fixed them and she turned out to be very nice. It took a while but I did turn the house into a home. We were happy here.
My husband started a new business and we relaxed into our home. We focused on other things and whilst I still longed for a home of our own, the anger dissipated and life continued to move forward. I always looked on Rightmove checking out other properties and kept an eye on the market - its become almost a hobby! I love looking at houses, layouts and how people live. House prices had increased almost £100k from when we first looked. After some time and with the business doing so well, we started to make plans to save up for a bigger rental for the next year. That's when we got the call - the landlord wanted to sell the property and was kindly giving us far more notice than she needed. At least this time, we had time on our side.
The Turning Point
At this point in time, my Grandad was dying and this took up most of my time, energy and thoughts. We weren't angry but just accepted it. As we had over 12 months accounts with the new business, we thought we would try and see if we could get a mortgage again. We checked my husbands parents were still willing to give him some of his inheritance early and they were. We gave all this information to a specialist broker and it had come back declined, unless we could generate a higher deposit (£15k was needed). This time, I was disappointed but not angry and had come to accept that this was it, believing God was finally closing the door on this. It confirmed my emotional feeling as I no longer felt any resentment or anger. After a conversation with my parents, they were willing to give us the money needed. We were shocked as they weren't in that position before but time had paved the way. Everything was set to go forward.
I found a property on Rightmove. I remember seeing it at the beginning on the year thinking that would be perfect for us and praying a whimsical prayer. It soon went and I had thought nothing more about it. It was a cosmetic doer-upper much bigger than the together properties available and in a nice area. I remember looking around the are and visiting the parade of shops, it had such a nice feeling and I remember asking God about maybe one day we would like here. It had lots of space to meet the room required of our growing children. The previous offer on the house had been withdrawn because the couple came from Poland and now that Brexit had happened (2016), they were not sure of their future in the UK. We were the first to view, we loved it and put in an offer. We did not get too excited as we weren't sure how everything would pan out but the offer was accepted. That evening I was able to tell my Grandad the good news. He had been willing us to get back on the property ladder and always said as soon his numbers came up on the lottery he'd buy me one! I'm so glad I had something positive to share with him. He died 2 days later but I think it gave him comfort to know we were back on the road. It was an extremely emotional time.
The mortgage was accepted and everything ticked along and then... money started to come in - again. A refund from a loan we had taken out years ago, after they had recalculated interest they owed us money! then tax rebates, PPI - money we had no idea about started to come and this paid for all our moving fees, stamp duty and solicitors. We couldn't believe how much financial blessing we were receiving. Our relationship with the landlord went well and our full deposit was returned. We were so shocked at how much God had poured out His blessing to us.
The day we completed our son had an accident at school and had been taken to hospital - he broke his growing plate in his arm. He later had to have an operation, so it wasn't a completely smooth ride - although quite smooth for us!
We didn't have money to buy a house but God provided for us, the money came to us via different means, the mortgage offer was accepted, even though house prices and the mortgage needed was now over £100k more than when we had originally tried. God answered our prayers and showed His glory and power, in a way so unexpected. He showed us His grace, even though I had been so angry with Him, He had a plan. Seeds were planted, cultivated and given time to grow. When the time was right, He showed us and provided for us.
I don't know what the ending for our story will be but so far life has given us many ups and downs. I know that holding onto faith and my relationship with God can be hard - not because of clever reasoning from an atheist but because the journey through life has been difficult. Life has not been straightforward and sometimes there's been no time to catch my breath before the next difficulty has fallen upon us. Through all this, I have grown in faith and in love. I've discovered more about who God is and who I am to Him, I've learned that God hear's the whimsical prayers and is happy to answer them. He sometimes holds off from answering prayers in the way we would like, as He see's the bigger picture of how everything will fit together better - I guess I am saying I learned to trust God with my incomplete pieces.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.